Craig Revel Horwood shares the word he's not allowed to say on 'Strictly Come Dancing'

·5 min read
Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood with Kate Thornton backstage ahead of Yahoo's first
Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood with Kate Thornton backstage ahead of Yahoo's first "White Wine Question Time" Live. (Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images)

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Strictly Come Dancing's no-nonsense judge Craig Revel Horwood says he's not allowed to use the word 'balls' on the BBC dance show.

Speaking at a live recording of Yahoo's White Wine Question Time podcast, he told Kate Thornton: "I don't think I'm allowed to use the word 'balls' on Strictly Come Dancing," going on to explain that with context it might be permitted.

He said: "[For example] 'on the balls of your feet. You need to get up on the balls.' Or 'get up on your balls more', you can say that. As long as you then, obviously, take it further and explain why they need to go up on their balls." 

WATCH: Craig Revel Horwood spills behind the scenes Strictly goss and hints at the possible return of Lavish

The pair also spoke about their past experiences of noisy gym sessions with former Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli, now a judge on the American show Dancing with the Stars. They said he makes so much noise when in the gym it sounds as if he is having sex.

Revel Horwood said: "It is loud. I was in there with him once in Newcastle, at the Hilton. You're doing all your stuff, and Bruno was literally heaving the smallest weight. But making the loudest noise!

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 18/09/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: n/a - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, SATURDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER, 2021* Motsi Mabuse, Craig Revel Horwood, Anton Du Beke, Shirley Ballas - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse (BBC/Ray Burmiston)

"I was in there with Gethin Jones, my gym buddy that year. Bruno likes to do it alone. He won't share a single machine or a single weight. But he was loud and it was embarrassing! And there's a tiny teeny weight!"

Listen to the full episode to hear Craig Revel Horwood talk about dancing as therapy and the possible return of Lavish

They also talked about changes to the judging panel on Strictly, and whether or not Tonioli would return to the show. Revel Horwood said: "Is he coming back? Yeah, I hope so. It's only Covid that's keeping him away. 

"But now we've got our own separate judges' podiums. That's all changed and we've got big glass things in between us.

"I felt a little bit like I needed a cash register! But what I'm saying is there's always room for another judge isn't there?"

This year many have commented on Revel Horwood giving more generous feedback in the show.

Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli during the opening night of the Strictly Come Dancing Arena Tour 2020. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli during the opening night of the Strictly Come Dancing Arena Tour 2020. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

He said: "On Strictly I try and make judgments where I'll say something, hopefully, that will eventually help that person be a better dancer or be better than they think they're capable of.

"I think that's important in general, whether you're a leader or not a leader. Even if you're at the bottom of the chain, you're still making someone's life better going up.

"I never really go on, through the dancing, to ever speak ill of anyone. I'm always looking to give people tens. I know that doesn't sound believable, but I'm gunning for them. I want them to do well. I really do. 

Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke - (BBC/Guy Levy)
Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke - (BBC/Guy Levy)

"I've been in that position myself and even when I'm auditioning people, I think: 'Oh my god, they've got the look. They're perfect. The perfect height. You think please, please, please be absolutely brilliant. Sing that song like you've never sung it before.'

"And they're very nervous coming into audition. So I understand it can go horribly wrong. But it's my job to put them at ease. It's my job in the theatre to, as a director, make them great, so I can be great at my job. It's fantastic. 

Craig Revel Horwood goes over dance moves with dancers during rehearsals for
Craig Revel Horwood goes over dance moves with dancers during rehearsals for "Yma - zu schoen, um war zu sein" at Friedrichstadtpalast in 2010 in Berlin. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

"I've been very lucky to actually earn money out of things that I really love doing and to have a life in dance. I didn't think I would ever get this far. 

"I've got to be honest I never really thought at 20 what I'd be really doing at 30 and whether or not I'd be hanging my dance shoes up."

Read more: After week one Adam Peaty says he 'can't walk' because of tough 'Strictly' training

He also told Thornton he had enjoyed the Strictly experience without a live studio audience, and that this helped him connect with the dancers.

He explained: "Last year, I thought: 'Do I spread love?' And I decided: 'Yeah, I should really', and it was really nice to do Strictly without the studio audience because I didn't feel compelled to have to react to them or create anything that I didn't really mean.

"[It made me] less showbiz. And I felt like I was actually talking to the celeb, like at auditions."

Buy it: Dances and Dreams on Diamond Street by Craig Revel Horwood | £10.79 (Was £14.99)

WATCH: Craig Revel Horwood reveals the hilarious and heartbreaking influences behind his drag persona "Lavish"

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